The Mississippi Welders Supply Company (MWSCO) that you see today was born in 1939 in Mondovi, Wisconsin. From this original location, a network of dedicated driver-salesmen served customers in southeastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa.
Expansion to Winona, Minnesota
With so much territory to cover, it eventually made sense to add another location and the company was expanded to include a Winona, MN store in 1966.
New Ownership and Expansion
In the summer of 1973, Don Peterson bought the company with two partners. He and Donna moved their family to Winona to take the helm of MWSCO. New stores were added: La Crosse, WI in 1973, Red Wing, MN in 1974, and Rochester, MN in 1976. The Driver-Salesmen were then able to cover an even broader territory and an expanding network of local stock points was also implemented.
Brad Peterson Joins the Company
In the fall of 1991, the Peterson’s oldest son Brad joined the company. Brad had worked in the business while in high school and college, but had taken 4 years to get his degree, and spent another 8 in the US Navy, serving as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer. Under his leadership, the MWSCO tradition of growth and expansion not only continued, but accelerated.
1992 - 1999
A period of rapid growth and expansion
A period of rapid growth and expansion followed in 1992. Having outgrown its original building in Winona, the store and warehouse were moved to the current location. The Winona location serves as the company headquarters and includes the central warehouse, gas filling plant and main office, in addition to a 2,000 square foot retail store.
The Rochester store moved to a new location in 1993, with additional warehouse space added in 2001 to better serve customers in that region.
The La Crosse and Red Wing branches were also bursting at the seams and followed suit. The La Crosse store moved again in 1997, and in 1999 a new building was constructed to house the Red Wing store.
Welcome to Iowa!
Late 1999, the decision was made to open a brand new store in Decorah, IA due to customer demand in our southern territory.
Hudson Here We Come
Our customers' need for more lead to the opening of a store in Hudson, WI in the fall of 2000.
We Go Live Online with eCommerce
Weldfabulous.com started as an eBay store. Today, it is its own eCommerce webstore, offering 70K+ products and shipping to customers, coast-to-coast and internationally.
New Industrial Gas Filling Facility and Store Opens in Marshfield, WI
In keeping with the family orientation of the business, the Peterson’s youngest son, Jeff, joined the company in 2001. He took on the day-to-day operation of the Fill Plant and overseeing the design and building of a new industrial gas filling facility, which was completed in Winona in 2004. Jeff was mobilized as a US Navy Reservist in 2011 through 2015.
Store Opens in Altoona, WI
Store Opens in Rothschild (Wausau), WI
Store Opens in Mankato, MN
Store Opens In Madison, WI
Jane Kennedy Joins MWSCO
One more sibling, Jane, joins MWSCO as IT Director. Jane brings a passion for leveraging technology solutions to improve operational efficiency. After earning her degree in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, Jane joined the large corporate workforce serving in a number of different business and technology roles. She earned a master’s degree in Software Development and Design from the University of St. Thomas. In early 2015, Jane was asked to bring her knowledge and expertise to MWSCO and leads the charge to identify and implement technology solutions to enhance our operations and allow us to focus on customer success.
MWSCO opens the Automation and Robotics Lab
The world is changing fast and automation is in high demand. MWSCO opens the Automation and Robotics Lab across the street from headquarters in Winona, MN. This laboratory is equipped with the latest products and a team of experts are available to demo and conduct training sessions.
MWSCO invests in Absolute Air
MWSCO, in partnership with four other local independent companies, invests in a new, state-of-the-art air separation company, Absolute Air. Located in Faribault, Minnesota, this investment will assure an ongoing source of supply for customers’ nitrogen, oxygen and argon requirements.
MWSCO opens branch in Appleton, WI
With business growing, MWSCO made the decision to branch out towards the Fox Valley area.
Rochester and Mankato branches moved into new locations with bigger showrooms and warehouse to meet growing demands.